A Mohiniattam workshop in Japan
Photos courtesy: Natanakaisiki

July 11, 2009 

A Mohiniattam workshop was conducted by JML Seminar Yoshiro Irino of Music, Tokyo, Japan, from 16th to 20th of June. There were about ten students. While some participants were already students of Mohiniattam, others had heard about this beautiful lasya dance of the Kerala women and joined the workshop.

Mohiniattam dancer and guru Nirmala Paniker, the founder director of Natanakaisiki Mohiniyatta Gurukulam of Natanakairali, and a scholar of this art form, conducted this Mohiniattam workshop at Japan as a part of Asian Cultural Studies.

The art forms of Japan called Noh, Kamigathamai etc. are performed in very slow tempo with a lot of deep meanings, so the people of Japan have the culture to appreciate and respect such art forms. That may be the reason why Mohiniattam with its "swinging and swaying movements and elaborate facial expressions with lot of hand gestures" was highly appreciated and accepted by these young Japanese dancers. 

Many of them said that it was a different experience and that they would like to know the deeper meanings of this art form and its background.